TEL AVIV (Jul. 27)
The Ben-Gurionist group, now known as the Israel Labor List, today said that the decision last Friday by the Mapai Secretariat to expel seven of its members from the Mapai Party was “evasive.” The Secretariat has decided that Ben-Gurion and six other Mapai members in the Israel Parliament had “expelled themselves” from the party by setting up an independent election list of candidates to the forthcoming national elections in November.
“If Mapai wants to expel us, it will have to do so through the proper channels and in accordance with the party constitution,” one of the expelled members stated. He challenged Mapai to come out with a more clear-cut decision. Replying to the challenge, a Mapai spokesman said: “The status of the seven may be more clearly defined in two or three days. Meanwhile, the ousted members are to all intents and purposes, no longer members of the party.”
Meanwhile, the Ben-Gurionists held a public meeting last night in Haifa, at which Yosef Almogi, one of the seven leaders ousted from Mapai, charged that “Mapai veteran leaders attempted to commit political murder against Ben-Gurion because he had dared to introduce some younger party members into the leadership.”
“They hatched a plot,” he told the 500 persons who attended the meeting, “to liquidate Ben-Gurion and destroy his image. I know, because I was on the inside, as the secretary of the party, when they started their criminal act for which history will not forgive them”. He said that “Eshkol will go down in history as the great splitter of Mapai” because he refused to accommodate Ben-Gurion on his demand for a renewed inquiry into the Lavon Affair.